Oh, how I love 5 ingredients or less recipes made in 15 minutes! As an extra bonus, this one has 9 grams of fiber per serving.
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles (gluten-free if need be)
5 tablespoons organic natural creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup of cooking liquid used to boil spaghetti noodles
Prepare spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta in colander.
Whisk together: cooking liquid, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce and green onions. Add to pasta, tossing to combine well.
Serve in bowls and add additional green onions on top (optional).
Revised version taken from: prevention.com/recipefinder
I remember my first encounter with olives. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old and I was at my friend’s house that lived next door. There were 4 houses that always seemed be having a watermelon party but for some reason on this specific day; olives were being served. One taste of a regular old green olive and I was hooked. I continued to eat the entire jar and it wasn’t long before I ran home with a bellyache. Although they made me sick (on that particular day), it didn’t ruin my love for olives.
*Did you know olives are one of the oldest foods known to man?
Rich in iron, vitamin E and copper
Rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats
Good source of fiber
Help prevent heart disease
Help prevent colon cancer
Help reduce severity of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Supposedly help decrease amount of hot flashes for women going through menopause
*Unfortunately, they can be high in sodium so don’t be tempted to eat an entire jar like I did when I was little.
The color of the olive just means:
Black (fully ripened)
Just a few different types of olives:
Mission (The black olives you see in the grocery store)
Manzanilla (Spanish green, again, the one’s you see in the grocery store)
Kalamata (Greek black olives and my favorite)
Picholine (French green olive)
Nicoise (French black olive)
Liguria (Italian black olive)
Ponentine (Italian black olive)
Gaeta (Italian black olive)
*If you don’t care about the health benefits of olives, don’t forget….you can always use them in a MARTINI. :)
Picture: Nate’s Cartoon’s blog.
A casserole that’s good for you!
6 cups of either brown or wild rice or quinoa
2-3 cups of either cooked salmon (or any other fish) or drained and rinsed black beans (I personally love it with the black beans)
3 cups of chopped vegetables (I use mushrooms and peppers a lot)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce or salsa (gluten-free if need be)
*Use your imagination to mix and match your healthy grain, protein, veggies and sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a casserole dish or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray (use gluten-free if need be).
Put half the grains at the bottom of dish or pan.
Pour 1 cup of sauce over grains.
Add fish or beans.
Pour 1 cup of sauce over vegetables.
Add remaining grains.
Optional: Add spices. I use red pepper flakes and garlic a lot.
Pour the rest of the sauce on top.
Bake for one hour or until heated through.
*I’ve been preparing a big batch of brown or wild rice and a big batch of quinoa on Sunday to have for a few days during the week, which makes it easy to prepare recipes. I also chop up my veggies for the week. It makes it so much more convenient to eat healthy, especially when you have a busy week ahead of you.
Recipe revised from “The Complete Idiots Guide to Gluten-Free Eating”
My husband asked me (out of the blue) a couple of days ago, if anyone used Vegetable oil anymore? After I explained to him that this wasn’t a conversation that my friends and I had regularly, I began to think….
Does anyone use regular old Vegetable Oil anymore?
If you are still using Vegetable Oil, you may want to consider using a healthier option. Vegetable oil is one of the worst for your health. Take a look at a few alternatives.
Some oils that I use:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sesame Oil (Supposedly good for hair and skin care as well)
*Not all oils should be used for cooking due to smoke points, which I will write about at a later date. Until then, take note of the following oils.
Some oils to cook with:
Coconut Oil (the best to cook with)
*Better yet, try cooking without using oil.
A few ways to eliminate using oil to cook:
Avoid deep-frying (at all costs!)
Use a non-stick pan (Dear Santa, I need some new non-stick pans) :)
Use spray oil if needed to prevent sticking (I’m told they even have gluten-free spray)
Sauté’ vegetables in water instead of oil (Simmer a ¼ cup of water in a pan and add veggies)
Use vegetable broth (look for the lowest sodium) in place of oil
Use wine in place of oil (I envision some of you drinking more of it than sautéing with it) :)
Now get out there and try some new oils! I’m going to try my Sesame Oil on my skin. Wish me luck!
As most of you know, I’m all about food and the effect it has on our health; physically, mentally and spiritually. But what about sexually? Can “so called” aphrodisiac food really help increase sexual desire?
An aphrodisiac: is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. However, from a historical and scientific standpoint, the alleged results may have been mainly due to mere belief by their users that they would be effective (i.e., the placebo effect). In particular, Western medical science has no substantiated claims that any particular food increases sexual desire or performance. Wikipedia
*Although no one knows for sure if foods can boost your mood, it’s always fun to try, right?
Ten aphrodisiac foods:
Bananas (no, not because of their shape but because it stimulates libido)
Avocados (does things that I can’t even repeat without blushing)
Dark Chocolate (releases dopamine in the brain’s pleasure center)
Oysters (increases libido)
Garlic (increases blood flow to the sexual organs)
Chile Peppers (gets blood pumping)
Salmon (keeps sex hormone production at it’s peak)
Maca (Lepidium meyenii): is a root plant consumed as a food and for medicinal purposes. Maca is also known as “Peruvian ginseng” (despite the fact that it is not a member of the ginseng family), because it is used as a folk remedy to increase stamina, energy, and sexual function. It is typically taken as a pill or liquid extract or as powdered maca root. -About.com
*You may have noticed that you don’t see any processed or fattening food on this list. Think about it; when’s the last time you sucked down a Big Mac and an order of fries and then felt like getting your groove on? As much as we would like to believe these foods have (just) an aphrodisiac effect on us, it probably also stems from the fact that these are healthy and nutritious choices.
Bottom line: Eat right, feel right. :)
Picture taken from: Soda Head.
Carbs are not the enemy! Despite the bad rap carbohydrates have fallen under, they are essential to our well-being.
The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. An enzyme called amylase helps break down carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar), which is used for energy by the body.-Medline Plus
The healthiest diet you can possibly consume is a high-carbohydrate diet. It has been shown to reverse heart disease, reverse diabetes, prevent a plethora of chronic diseases and has been shown many times to cause significant weight loss (Campbell, 2006).
With that said, you can’t just eat any old carbohydrates to reap the benefits. You have to choose the good guys. :)
*Bad carbs: are refined, processed carbohydrate foods that have had all or most of their natural nutrients and fiber stripped in order to make them more consumer friendly.
BAD Carbs: (Just to name a few)
(I’m seeing a trend here)
Possibly effects from consuming bad carbs:
Energy “highs” and “lows”
Various effects on blood sugar
Candida yeast overgrowth
Weak immune system
*Bad carbs are empty calories. Repeat after me, bad carbs are empty calories….
*GOOD carbs: are unprocessed carbohydrates in their ‘natural’ state – or very close to their natural state.
GOOD Carbs: (Just to name a few)
Brown or wild rice
Pasta made from brown rice or whole wheat
Potatoes (controversial carb)
*Best time to eat carbs is after exercise.
*The effects of carbs on people with diabetes is complicated. Hopefully, I learn more as I go along in my studies. My friends that do have diabetes, please reply if you have any advice about carbs.
Campbell.T., Campbell.T.2006.The China Study. BenBella Books Inc.
I don’t use salad dressing very often but the recipe below is a hard one to resist. It calls for organic ingredients, but you know the deal, if you can find them without breaking the bank, that’s great but if not, don’t worry about it.
3 tablespoons organic balsamic vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced finely (Okay, I’ll admit that sometimes, I put a couple more cloves than called for)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon organic mustard
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. Keep in refrigerator.
Recipe from: The Gluten-Free Vegan
Have a GREAT week! :)
It’s the little things in life that excite me. Seriously, I’ve never been one to spend a lot of money on kitchen gadgets and appliances. I guess I’ve always gotten by with what I had and it probably also stems from my mom having a minimalistic approach in the kitchen as well. Anyway, I just wanted to forewarn you (on my simple choices) before I let you take a peek inside my favorite kitchen “things”. :)
What is it about oxo’s good grips that keeps me coming back for more? The garlic pressed gets used and abused in this house.
Soggy salad really bums me out. The salad spinner can eliminate that.
*There are times you just can’t use a whole avocado. I can’t remember where I purchased this.
I’ll admit I was first attracted to them because of how dang cute they are but they really do serve a useful purpose. Keeps your produce fresh longer.
*Winter Frost White always matches everything, right? Clean, simple and affordable. Let’s face it, trying to use good china in this house would be a tragedy.
My favorite hand soap. It smells so good without being overwhelming.
Last but definitely not least. Our friends Marsha and Jerry bought us this (thank you!) before they left England. It’s so pretty and something I wouldn’t buy myself. I use it every single day.
What are your favorite kitchen “things”?
Well, here it is, my first interview. I would like to introduce my husband, Den. In the process of managing my food intolerances, I naturally developed a healthy eating plan that he’s been following since he arrived home from his deployment on October 1st 2011.
NAME: Den AGE: 43.5 CAREER: Military professional HEIGHT: 6’0 WEIGHT: 185 pounds WAIST: 32-inch
*I love how men could care a less if you publicize their measurements.
Me: What have you eliminated from your diet since you have arrived home?
Den: Meat (except fish), eggs, processed food; dairy, sugar and I quit drinking coffee (cold turkey).
Me: Is there anything you miss eating?
Den: Beef jerky and egg beaters but it’s nothing that I can’t live without.
Me: What improvements have you noticed?
Den: My cholesterol has lowered significantly and I have way more energy.
Me: Do you have a favorite new food?
Den: Black beans, quinoa and I really like the green smoothie. It’s very convenient in the morning before work (as long as you make it the night before).
Me: Yes, as long as I make it the night before. :)
Me: Any food or recipe that you don’t like?
Den: The second gluten-free pizza crust you made was mushy. Did you throw that recipe out? Please God, I hope so.
Me: Do you feel younger?
Den: Yes, I’m at my high school graduating weight and waist size. I’m pretty sure I’m just as strong as I was back then too. I’m almost 44 and I scored a 98 on my Air Force fitness test.
Me: What is your average weekly workout routine?
Den: I lift weights and run (3.1 miles in 24 minutes) three times a week. I’m only getting in 3 times a week because of work and finishing up my MBA. If I had time, I would love to workout 5 days a week.
Me: Do you have any advice for the men out there that want to try following a healthier lifestyle?
Den: Keep an open mind and try new things. Just because everyone is eating junk food doesn’t mean you have to as well. Remember the food you consume today will affect you later in life.
Me: What have you learned from your wife?
Den: That this is not some fad diet; it’s a lifestyle change (and because you suffer from food intolerances, it’s a crucial lifestyle change).
Me: Any new things you would like to try? Keep it clean, please. :)
Den: I seriously want to get into yoga for the relaxation and flexibility aspects. I’m sure the flexibility will pay off in many different ways, if you know what I mean. ;)
Me: Thanks for being such a supportive, loving and cool husband.
P.S. When does football season end and why does it have to be on in every room in the house?
Den: Thank you for not only being a creative and open-minded role model but also an awesome wife. I love how you are always striving to improve our life, not only today but also for our future.
P.S. Football all year-long would be awesome. Go Bears!
*Stay tuned; I have a lot more people who I want to eventually interrogate, I mean interview. Den will also be posting on my blog in the near future between work, exercise and studying. :)
“Teamwork is working together — even when apart”. unknown
Quick meals for people with food allergies or food intolerances can be a little tricky. Below is one meal that I fall back on when I notice it’s 5:00 pm and I forgot to plan dinner. In our house, this meal is kind of like going to a (drive through) fast food restaurant. :)
Food Allergies: Food allergies are the body’s abnormal responses to harmless foods; the reactions are caused by the immune system’s reaction to some food proteins. -Medical-dictionary
Food Intolerances: An adverse reaction to specific foods, seen in 10% of the population, which are often chronic and may cause severe illness. –Medical-dictionary
(I’m so lucky to be in that 10%) Yes, total sarcasm. :)
Organic Pasta Sauce
*Our favorite is Organic Ville, which is gluten-free. My husband loves it even though he’s able to eat gluten.
Wild Pink Salmon 5oz pouch-drained (Skinless & boneless)
*I use Bumble Bee. I can tolerate fish, so I eat it a couple of times a week.
*I use Organic Ancient Brand Quinoa Harvest, which is gluten-free. Again, my husband can’t even tell the difference. For those of you who can tolerate gluten, I recommend whole wheat pasta.
1. Once sauce starts heating up, add salmon and heat thoroughly.
2. Prepare pasta according to directions.
3. Serve sauce over pasta.
WHALLA! Or is it WALLA?
-Before I knew I was intolerant to gluten, I remember feeling so sick (acid reflux, heart-burn and stomach-aches) every time I ate pasta or pasta sauce and that was even if I took meds to prevent it. Those days are behind me now that I stay away from gluten.
“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini